For David and Phillipa Moody
A frame can barely hold them as they flare,
The poplars Van Gogh took almost for trees:
Being’s their meaning, and their casual care
The syllables of self threading the breeze.
Neglecting words for ‘ought’ and ‘maybe’, these
Are pure parole, a presence as a style.
So lucid in their paradigm of ease
That seeing is believing for a while.
I try for Sidney’s ‘speaking picture’, though
Caught between life and life, no word will say
All that it knows.
Too earnest in the play
To be the countenance it has to show.
It makes the shifting self encounter me,
Announcing by renouncing destiny.
Peter Steele (1939 – 1912) was an Australian poet and academic, who was awarded the Christopher Brennan Award, for lifetime achievement in poetry, in 2010.